From Virtual Japan
Aria is a manga, or Japanese comic, that was created by Kozue Amano. It was first released in 2002 in Comic Blade, and is still continuing, with 10 volumes having been released to date. Aria is actually a sequel to the small, two volume series titled Aqua.
In the twenty-fourth century, the planet of Mars has been changed from a barren landscape, to a terraformed, habitable planet. It has also been renamed Aqua. There are oceans and seas and tons of things to keep the inhabitants healthy. Neo-Venezia is the city that Aria mostly takes place in, and is similar to Venice, Italy. Even though the manga is set in a world where Mars has been colonized, the manga has very little science fiction in it.
Karai is an apprentice gondolier, or one who controls the gondola boats, with one of the premier gondola companies on Aqua, Aria company. It is her wish to become an undine, or full-time gondolier.
- Akari Mizunashi – Akari is an easy going fifteen year old who is very romantic. She is learning how to be a skilled gondolier, but has to work on her strength. Her two close friends are Aika and Alicia, and she also writes letters to a mysterious person on her home town of Man-home, only known as Ai.
- Alicia Florence – Alicia is a full time gondolier who is very popular with her clients. She is one of the three water fairies of Neo-Venezia, which is one of the reasons that she is able to maneuver the gondola so easily. Strangely enough, she is a very heavy drinker, even though she is only 19.
- Aika Granzchesta – Aika is the first friend that Akari makes when she first moves to Aqua. She works for a competitive gondola company known as Himeya. She is the only daughter of the owner, and the heir, but does not enjoy being so.
- Akira Ferrari – Akira is another of Neo-Venezia’s water fairies and is Aika’s direct supervisor. She is very strict on Aika, but only because she sees a great potential in her that has not been found yet.
- Alice Carroll – Alice works for orange Planet, the third gondola company on Neo-Venezia. She at first appears to be very snobbish, but eventually loosens up as she gets to know the other girls more.
- Athena Glory – Athena is the third water fairy and she works for Orange Planet. She is Alice’s supervisor and mentor and is a bit flighty. She has a beautiful singing voice and uses it to distract the customers whenever Alice gets into trouble.
Blue eyed cats are considered to be extremely lucky on Aqua, so all companies have a blue eyed cat that they call the president of the company.
- President Maa – President Maa is the mascot for Orange Planet. She loves to bite as a form of affection.
Aria Website (Japanese)